Maximizing Quality of Life

205 - Maximizing Quality of Life: Keys to Successful Aging: Activity, Access, Advocacy, and Empowerment

Tuesday, July 17
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Location: Diplomat Room-Lobby Level

Valerie Radu, PhD, LCSW-The Intersection of Domestic Violence & Elder Abuse: Collective Impact in Family Justice Centers
Lauren Darensbourg, MPH-I Can Do It: A Model for Inclusive Health Promotion Programs

This session will focus on key issues that impact older adults as they strive to lead successful, healthy lives and maximize their quality of life: activity; access to care, services, treatment and facilities; advocacy; and empowerment. Specific focus will be on recognizing and trying to prevent elder abuse (EA), and accommodating and supporting older adults with physical and intellectual disabilities.
The panel will begin with a discussion focused on EA. First, Carrie Mulford will describe the National Institute of Justice’s investment in research on EA, neglect and exploitation; this presentation will also share the state of the science in EA intervention research, findings from recent evaluations, and an overview of two on-going studies employing a researcher-practitioner partnership and a home-visiting component. Next, Valerie Radu will share efforts to prevent elder exploitation in Hamilton County, Tennessee. Tennessee is one of two states with a Statewide Family Justice Center Initiative. She will share a promising model to consider to bets address the complex needs of domestic violence and EA survivors - Hamilton County’s interdisciplinary Family Justice Center. This center provides elder justice services, including training law enforcement and providers on best practices to address EA.

Older adults experience much higher rates of disability than the rest of Americans, and it is crucial to focus on how to help navigate issues related to disability. Laws and policies can help reduce inequities, better support people with disability (PWD), and encourage their inclusion in communities. Elizabeth Pendo will share lessons from a report focused on meeting Healthy People 2020 national targets for PWD and describe how laws, like the Americans with Disabilities Act can help ensure older PWD are being: (1) recognized through greater surveillance and data collection, and (2) experiencing less delays in receiving primary care and preventive services. Examples of innovative, evidence-based initiatives or policies at the state or local level will also be shared. Finally, older adults, who frequently may have disabilities, can benefit greatly from physical activity which can provide health benefits including lessening condition severity, managing disease symptoms, and preventing or delaying other conditions. Even so, older adults are chronically inactive. Lauren Darensbourg will provide lessons from the I Can Do It! (ICDI) model, which is customizable and assists the implementation of inclusive health promotion programs aimed at transforming the lives of PWD.

Learning Objectives:

Valerie Radu, PhD, LCSW

Executive Director Chattanooga Family Justice Center
City of Chattanooga

Valerie Radu, PhD, LCSW completed her doctoral work at Case Western Reserve University in the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. She holds an MSW degree from Walla Walla University and a BSW degree from Southern Adventist University. She has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Tennessee since 1996. She is currently in a year-long training process to become certified as an Ecotherapist.
Dr. Radu has been the Executive Director of the Chattanooga Family Justice Center since 2014 and has successfully been awarded over $1 million in grant funding to develop and expand the services at the FJC. She has over 20 years of experience as a practitioner, community leader, faculty member and academic administrator in higher education settings. Her practice and research interest areas include:
• Self-care strategies for helping professionals
• Diversity and cultural competence in professional settings (social work, nursing, education, etc)
• Knowledge and skill competency needs of professional social workers practicing in healthcare and aging settings
• Leadership development and organizational change
• Innovative program development and assessment
Since 1996 she has been a frequent presenter on aging issues, diversity/cultural competence, and leadership development in the southeastern United States for a variety of professional organizations and groups.


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Lauren R. Darensbourg, MPH

Director of Strategic Initiatives
President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition

Lauren R. Darensbourg, MPH, is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. In this role, Lauren develops programs and psrtnerships that support the Council's vision to ensure all Americans lead healthy, active lives. In addition, she leads all disability and minority health-related activities and initiatives of the Council including oversight of I Can Do It!, a customizable model to assist the implementation of inclusive health promotion programs. Lauren joined the US Department of Health and Human Services in May 2008 as an Oakridge Institute of Science and Education Fellow at the Office of Minority Health, where she contributed to the National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity, the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities, and the A Healthy Baby Begins With You initiative. Lauren earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry as well as a Masters degree in Public Health with a concentration in behavioral science and health education from Florida A & M University. She is committed to leading a healthy lifestyle and does so by playing recreational sports and eating lots of veggies.


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Elizabeth Pendo, JD

Joseph J. Simeone Professor of Law
Saint Louis University School of Law

Professor Elizabeth Pendo is a nationally recognized expert in disability law, bioethics, and health care law and policy. She is the Joseph J. Simeone Professor of Law at Saint Louis University School of Law and a member of the Center for Health Law Studies and the William C. Wefel Center for Employment Law. Her scholarship advocates for greater access to adequate health care, work opportunities, integration in the community, and full participation in society for people with disabilities. She published a series of articles examining legal and ethical strategies to address the long-ignored barrier of inaccessible medical and diagnostic equipment. Current projects are the Disability and Health Report for the Healthy People 2020 Law and Health Policy Project (with Dr. Lisa I. Iezzoni), and a new edition of HEALTH LAW: CASES, MATERIALS AND PROBLEMS (with Furrow, et al.). She is an appointed member of the ABA Commission on Disability Rights, an elected member of the American Law Institute, and the recipient of several awards including the first University-wide Faculty Excellence Award for Diversity and Social Justice. She received her BA from UCLA, and her JD from the University of California.


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Carrie Mulford, PhD

Social Science Analyst
National Institute of Justice

Dr. Carrie Mulford is a Social Science Analyst at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). She received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Virginia in 2004 and her B.A. from Rice University in 1992. Since joining NIJ in 2004, Dr. Mulford has been managing portfolios of research on juvenile justice, teen dating violence, elder mistreatment, and hate crime. She has co-authored numerous scholarly articles, primarily focused on violence prevention and interpersonal violence across the lifespan. Dr. Mulford represents NIJ on the federal interagency Elder Justice Working Group and the Department of Justice’s Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act Working Group.


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Angela McGowan, JD, MPH

Project Director
HHS/Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC Assignee)

Angela McGowan, J.D., M.P.H., is a Project Director at the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (on assignment from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) Program Performance and Evaluation Office). She works to advance the use of policy and law as tools to improve health, and leads an effort of partners developing evidence-based products highlighting laws and policies related to the national Healthy People 2020 Initiative. Previously, Angela was a Senior Program Officer with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focusing on encouraging the use of policy, advocacy and law to help create a strong and comprehensive public health system, public health issues including tobacco and childhood obesity prevention, and leadership development. Prior work experience includes: working at CDC’s Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Legislation at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, serving in CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service, and working as a legal services officer with Georgia's Division of Public Health. She received her law degree from Vanderbilt, master’s in public health from Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, and bachelor’s in International Relations from William and Mary.


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205 - Maximizing Quality of Life: Keys to Successful Aging: Activity, Access, Advocacy, and Empowerment


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